Harare’s mass exodus of fire fighters

The City of Harare, Zimbabwe, is facing a higher than usual fire risk, after at least 125 firefighters from the area left the Harare’s fire department in seek of greener pastures in the Middle East.

According to City of Harare’s Communications Manager, Michael Chideme confirmed the mass exodus and said the fire department had been left crippled by it.

He commented: “There are vacancies for firefighters at the moment after 125 of them left the country. We have enough equipment for firefighting, but what is being affected is the work schedule of the workers, as some will have to work for longer hours due to short staffing.”

Despite the local authority having the capacity to attend fire break outs, and adequate equipment to tackle blazes, the departure of such large volumes of staff will surely have a knock-on effect on its efforts to keep its population safe.

The Harare fire department operates from Greendale, Waterfalls and Kuwadzana. In August it responded to 392 incidents of fire, mainly veldfires, commercial, road traffic accidents and domestic faults.

Chideme continued: “At the moment, the local authority has the capacity to attend to fire breakouts, although there is a need to fill the vacancies of those who have left. Currently, the city council is working on addressing the workers’ concerns so that we do not continue losing more workers to the diaspora.”

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